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Discussion Starter #1
Alright, so I built my dad an i7 rig a few weeks ago. Was running perfect when I first gave it to him, and slowly degenerated (speed-wise), until now it is hardly useable! The HDD is on almost constantly (it'd be easy to mistake it for the power light most of the time). I used the Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R board, two WD 1TB Blacks in the RAID1 array (only HDDs on the machine), and the onboard controller.

When I first ran HDTach, after building the system I had speeds well over 100MB/s. Here is the current HDTach:


Obviously got problems here.

The Intel Matrix RAID manager software says that an array isn't even created, yet HDTach, the RAID BIOS, and every other piece of software shows a valid array in place. If I try to create a new RAID array in the Intel Matrix software, it locks up the software. Nothing shows an error anywhere, including the RAID BIOS (shows a valid RAID array in healthy condition).

The event log doesn't show much, except various applications timing out from a failed response. I started a checkdisk running, and then headed home, so I'm not sure on the status of it at the moment.

If it is a dead/dying drive, why would the RAID BIOS not show any errors or failed drives? If it is not a dead/dying drive, what is it? Also, is it safe to remove the RAID1 from the drives and run them individually? Will I risk losing any data if I do that?

EDIT: By the way, I'm almost positive this isn't virus-related. My dad is very careful about what he does on a computer, UAC is still enabled, and AVG is installed and running. I also took a quick look at the add/remove programs and didn't see anything out of the ordinary.
 

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Such low access times and poor transfer rates would probably indicate a dying hard drive (or drives). Is there any important data on the array? If so, get it copied off now. This might take a while, but better safe than sorry. To speed this up, disconnect the computer from the internet (to avoid further infections) and disable your virus checker & any spyware tools etc. You want as few processes trying to access the disk as possible to make sure you can back up successfully.

Once you have everything backed up, I would take the drives and test them individually to look for problems (either with a bootable test cd from the manufacturer or on a different pc). This hopefully will give you some insight as to what is causing the problem. If it is a disk problem it may only be 1 disk that is faulty and causing the problems, but somehow it is not being marked as failed by the array manager. If this is the case you should be able to put the good disk back and rebuild the array from the 1 good drive with a new disk.

I have never used Matrix RAID, so not sure why you are having the problems with the array not showing. It may be related to the dying disk - the array management software queries the storage subsystem as to its status, but the disks are constantly busy so it times out maybe?

Hope this helps.
 

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They should be able to operate independantly. However they may not be able to be read properly on another board, if the controller manufacturer has set up the drives with a strange MFT or something. As I have not used the Matrix RAID I can't confirm if this is the case or not, but someone else might.

If one of the disks is faulty and you remove the working one, you may find your array will fail & the 1 good disk is marked as faulty & the controller won't allow you to use it. If possible I would try and keep the array together if it contains data you need.

If someone has direct experience of Matrix RAID1 then they might be able to advise differently, but until someone could confirm this I would be as cautious as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, will certainly do. It always makes me nervous when one drive goes down in an array like this... I'll probably borrow Ghost from work tomorrow and ghost the drive to another 500GB laying around, then start playing with stuff.
 
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